Updated on August 20th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
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Tell us a little bit about yourself.
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When an interviewer asks an open ended question like this, it can be difficult to know where to begin...and end! This question haunts many individuals who may accidentally go a little too in depth into their personal lives. It happens. Keep your reply light, and work relevant. Share how you became interested in this career path and what you enjoy about it. This is a great opportunity to describe yourself by discussing the strengths and qualities that you bring.
"I am a competitive individual who is driven and likes to win. In addition to my successful career in behavioral therapy, I also spend time playing competitive sports. I give back by volunteering at the local animal shelter and working for a variety of annual fundraisers in our community."
Entry Level Example
"I am a very active individual who loves to workout and go to the mountains on the weekend. I feel that my level of activity on my off time greatly improves my concentration during the week. I have a high amount of energy to offer my patients."
"With pleasure! I am a calm and confident behavioral therapist, with excellent written and verbal communication skills. Even though I am quiet, I can motivate my team and keep morale high. The majority of my work has been spent supporting Autistic adults and educating their family members and caregivers. I look forward to working with an agency that holds a focus on rehabilitating children."
What are the four basic schedules of reinforcement?
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As an ABA Therapist, you know that the four basic schedules of reinforcement refer to the frequency with which a patient receives reinforcement (or a reward) for performing the desired behavior. You can go ahead and answer this question in textbook fashion but have an example handy just in case the interviewer wants you to go into your answer just a bit more.
"The four basic schedules of reinforcement are Fixed-Ratio Schedule, Fixed Interval Schedule, Variable-Ratio schedule and Variable-Interval schedule. I like to use a fixed ratio schedule when working with my patients. Last week I rewarded a patient with a sticker every 3 times they tied their shoes correctly."
Entry Level Example
"From my understanding, the four basic schedules of reinforcement are Fixed-Ratio Schedule, Fixed Interval Schedule, Variable-Ratio schedule and Variable-Interval schedule. I plan to try using all 4 methods with most patients. I am sure that once I become more experienced, I will learn which methods work best for which patients."
"Great question! The four basic schedules of reinforcement are Fixed-Ratio Schedule, Fixed Interval Schedule, Variable-Ratio schedule and Variable-Interval schedule. I have used all 4 methods with a variety of patients throughout my career; however, I tend to use Fixed-Ratio Schedule most often."
What do you like most about your current position?
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As an ABA Therapist, what makes you want to go to work each day? Perhaps it is the team that you are a part of or, the excitement of a new case every day. Relay to the interviewer what you like best about your current role. Even if you need to dig deep, you should come up with something positive about your current position.
"In my current position, I work with a team of very talented therapists. I look forward to meeting the team here and building exciting new working relationships."
Entry Level Example
"The thing that I enjoy most about my current position is that I learn something new every day; whether from a patient or a fellow co-worker. I enjoy learning new skills, tools, and ways to treat my patients. I am very much looking forward to doing the same with your organization."
"I love my patients! Although my current organization is not providing me what I need, in terms of career growth, I am forever grateful for the opportunity to meet some of the most incredible people in the business."
Now is your time to get answers to your questions that have come up based on your grueling interview. Steer clear of salary, benefit and other questions that might make you sound pushy or that you are trying to negotiate the terms of a job that hasn't been offered to you yet. Take this time to clarify questions of what hours you will be working, what type of patients they see most of and why the interviewer enjoys working for this hospital or facility.
"Thank you for asking - I do have a few questions. What is top of mind when it comes to filling this role? In addition, what types of career growth opportunities would follow this position? And lastly, do you have internal candidates who are also interviewing for this position?"
Entry Level Example
"Here are some sample questions:
- When would you like to have this position filled?
- How long has this role been vacant?
- Is this a replacement search or a newly created role?
- What is your favorite part about working here?
- What is the facility's primary goal for this position in the next 12 months?
- Is there anything from my background and experience that I can clarify for you?
- What do you see as the biggest change in this industry over the past 3 years?
- Is there any reason why you would not hire me?"
"I have seen over the years that turnover in behavioral therapy can be high. Could you tell me why this position is vacant?"
In this situation, the famous 'what is a weakness' question has been re-worded. The interviewer wants to know what skills you have and which ones you are working to improve upon.
"Public speaking has always been a weakness of mine. I've asked my current supervisor to keep me in mind whenever there is an opportunity to address a group of people so I can work on making this one of my strengths."
Entry Level Example
"My handwriting is horrible. When it comes times to transcribe my notes from a session, sometimes I find it difficult to read. Reminding myself that it isn't a race, and that it will be easier if I take a few extra minutes to take notes, has helped me to improve."
"I am a big fan of continued education. If I could improve on any particular skill, I would return to take a couple of workshops on new therapies and breakthrough methods."
6. What are your salary expectations? The compensation question can be very difficult to answer. It's always best to start with what you are currently earning and then discuss what your future compensation goals look like. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise. Here is an answer example: "Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher." Here is an entry level answer example: "After researching the area, the salary range looks to be between $50k and $60k per year. As a new ABA Therapist, I'm hoping to start around $50k." Here is an experienced answer example: "My current salary is $60K/year plus benefits, compensation for any travel, and 4 weeks' vacation time. I am looking for a competitive package, in my next position."7. How do you deal in uncomfortable situations? Often, our work environment holds the possibility for awkward or tense situations. It can be difficult to know how to respond when you have a coworker who is moody, or when your coworker lacks social skills and constantly asks inappropriate questions. The interviewer wants to know that you can keep your cool in situations like these. Here is an answer example: "I have had my share of awkward situations, and having raised 2 kids, I am no stranger to them! In the workplace, if an uncomfortable situation arises I tend to face the issue head on, but in a tactful way. Sweeping things under the rug rarely helps. I have no problem being open with my team or colleagues if I am not feeling comfortable in a particular situation." Here is an entry level answer example: "I try to avoid conflict, but I have a high tolerance for discomfort. I've learned to try to let the people in question sort it out, but have no problem rolling up my sleeves and diving in to help mediate the problem." Here is an experienced answer example: "I have learned over the years that if something makes me uncomfortable, I better dive right in. Change and growth happen outside of your comfort zone. I embrace this!"8. How do you deal with work stress? ABA Therapy can be an emotionally draining job. How do you get away from it all and relax? Perhaps you practice yoga, go to the gym, have a steam room, or go to the beach on the weekends. Avoid saying that you don't have any work related stress because, we all do, to varying degrees. Instead, tell the interviewer that you welcome and thrive on a little bit of work stress. Work stress can motivate us and make our day more interesting. Here is an answer example: "I handle stress very well and when you call my references, they will attest to this fact. When I am under pressure on the job, I focus on the task at hand and make sure to not get distracted. Staying on deadline with my treatment plans is very helpful and I will delegate when necessary to alleviate some stress." Here is an entry level answer example: "Stress is part of any demanding job and I will embrace it to the fullest. I take good care of myself personally and have learned how to prioritize my workload to maintain a healthy balance in my stress levels." Here is an experienced answer example: "Daily yoga helps me deal with work stress. In my current position, I've started a small yoga group during the lunch hour for 20 minutes. There are 11 of us from the medical center that all participate."9. When have you worked among a diverse group of people? Are you accustomed to working with a very large or diverse team of individuals? Assure the interviewer that you are able to handle an environment that offers diversity. Here is an answer example: "I have worked with diverse groups of people most of my career, including my time in University. I am most comfortable, and happy, in this type of environment because it offers a great learning opportunity." Here is an entry level answer example: "In my current role, I work alongside cross functional teams regularly. There has been a lot of diversity during my time in University, and my practicum as well. I fully embrace diversity." Here is an experienced answer example: "I would say that pretty much every organization and facility I have worked for has valued diversity. Working with people from all walks of life help shed different perspectives and identify potential problems faster."10. Describe your working relationship with your previous or current colleagues. When you answer this question be sure to remain positive, even if the experience wasn't. Avoid talking about any previous drama and do not speak poorly of your colleagues.
If you had a good relationship with your previous colleagues: "I get along well with most personalities. My colleagues were great team players and we would often meet up after work for drinks or team activities."
If you did not have a good relationship with your previous colleagues: "I have had better relationships in the past but we did the best that we could. Our communication styles were all very different which made it challenging at times." Here is an answer example: "I get along well with most personalities. My colleagues were great team players and we would often meet up after work for drinks or team activities." Here is an entry level answer example: "I get along with just about everyone that I work with. I respect other people's knowledge, experience, and opinion, even if I don't agree. I think that is why I am able to work with most anyone." Here is an experienced answer example: "My working relationships are very important to me. I've spent 12 years as an ABA Therapist and enjoy mentoring my fellow therapists. Even as people move on to new jobs, I like to stay in touch with them and keep up to date on their exciting career progress."11. Where do you see your career in 5 years? The interviewer would like to know if you have long term career plans in behavioral therapy. They will be able to gauge your commitment level based on your answer to this question. Perhaps you are looking to earn an additional certification, grow your leadership skills, or open your own practice. If you are not sure where you want your career to be, tell the interviewer what type of work you want to be a part of. Here is an answer example: "In five years I'd like to have received my Autism Certificate and utilize it as an ABA therapist supporting one of our local school programs." Here is an entry level answer example: "5 years from now, I would like to be supervising or managing a team of my own. I am confident that I will progress at a rate that will make this a possibility." Here is an experienced answer example: "In 5 years I would like to be seen as an authority in the behavioral therapy industry, with one of my papers being published. I would like to be well-connected and trusted when it comes to my work here."12. Would you be willing to travel to various centers, schools, etc? One of the great things about being an ABA Therapist is being able to experience fresh challenges every day. If you are one that thrives on challenges and new experiences then, traveling will be right up your alley. ABA Therapists devote their time within the schools, centers, and patients' homes. Discuss with the interviewer your willingness to travel. Your answer can be short and sweet. There is no need to visit your entire schedule at this point in the interview. Here is an answer example: "Yes, I am able to travel and work in various locations across our city. Do you have particular locations in mind?" Here is an entry level answer example: "I am very open to travel and can make myself available for overnight and out of state travel as well." Here is an experienced answer example: "I am able to travel to locations to see patients. I'm aware that there are 6 local schools in the area, does this position support these schools?"13. When you suffer a setback with a patient, how does that emotionally affect you and your work? Everyone handles the stress and disappointment of setbacks differently. Discuss with the interviewer how you typically cope with setbacks while working with a patient. Here is an answer example: "Experiencing a setback is always disappointing, and can be a bit disheartening, but I understand that it happens from time to time. If I experience a major setback I will take a few moments to debrief and discuss what I could have done differently, with a more seasoned behavioral therapist in the office. Then, I move forward with new treatment methods." Here is an entry level answer example: "If I were to experience a significant setback with a patient, I think that would be really difficult because you are so invested in your patients' progress. I would have to reassess my plan and then try, try again! Giving up is never an option." Here is an experienced answer example: "Setbacks can be trying, but I find that you have to learn how to lose before you learn how to win. While I never enjoy a setback, I use them as a stepping off point to something even better. My patients deserve the best of me so, for that reason, I do not let them see me feeling defeated after a setback."14. Tell me about an organization or group outside of work that you contributed to. Many hiring managers will choose one candidate over another because of their volunteer experience. They feel that it shows strong character and selflessness...all qualities that make a great employee. Talk to the interviewer about your willingness to give back to your community in some form of volunteerism. If you do not have formal volunteer experience you can draw on things you do in your spare time to assist friends, family, or even your current employer.
If you do have volunteer experience: "For the past 8 months I have volunteered every Wednesday evening at our local animal shelter. I will help with grooming the animals, feeding them, and walking them. It's been a really fun experience and rewarding at the same time."
If you do not have volunteer experience: "I have not formally volunteered in these most recent years, however; I spend a lot of time helping my sister who is a single mom. I will babysit on weekends, cook dinners for her and drive the kids to appointments when necessary. I feel that it is very important to take care of the needs of family." Here is an answer example: "For the past 8 months I have volunteered every Wednesday evening at our local animal shelter. I will help with grooming the animals, feeding them, and walking them. It's been a really fun experience and rewarding at the same time." Here is an entry level answer example: "I volunteer 1 to 2 Saturdays per month serving meals at a local homeless shelter. Helping others is very rewarding." Here is an experienced answer example: "I am on the board of Cincinnati ABA Therapists. I am proud to say that, throughout the years, I have been able to make an impact on policy and regulations for our industry."15. What are the types of differential reinforcement techniques? Rewarding the desired behavior and ignoring the negative behavior is one of your go-to's as an ABA Therapist. The interviewer is looking for the textbook answer to this question but be sure to have an example in your back pocket if they want to know more. Here is an answer example: "The four different types of differential reinforcement are differential reinforcement of incompatible behavior, alternative behavior, other behavior and differential reinforcement of low rates. I've found that encouraging teachers to use differential reinforcement of alternative behavior works best within the classroom setting." Here is an answer example: "Great question! The four different types of differential reinforcement are differential reinforcement of incompatible behavior, alternative behavior, other behavior and differential reinforcement of low rates. I have used all 4 methods with a variety of students throughout my career; however, I tend to use alternative behavior reinforcement most often." Here is an entry level answer example: "From my understanding, the four different types of differential reinforcement are differential reinforcement of incompatible behavior, alternative behavior, other behavior and differential reinforcement of low rates. I plan to try using all 4 methods with most students. I am sure that once I become more experienced, I will learn which methods work best for which students"16. Why did you choose a career as an ABA Therapist? Now is the time to let your passion for the behavior therapy show. Think back to the time that you decided you wanted to work with children with Autism and other brain disorders. Did you choose this career because you were disappointed in the system? Do you have a family member that you wanted to help? Keep your answer honest and positive. We all know there is a lot of dysfunction in the world but during your interview is not the time to focus on that. Here is an answer example: "I knew I wanted to be an ABA Therapist the first time my child needed to see one. I saw the impact she made, and the improvements my child made, through receiving behavioral therapy. I instantly knew that this was the best way for me to be a support to my child, and children with similar challenges." Here is an entry level answer example: "Growing up, I always had an interest in social work and behavioral therapy. After seeing a career counselor who suggested researching ABA Therapy, I knew it was the right choice for me. I am very excited to take this first step in my career, now that my education and certification is complete." Here is an experienced answer example: "I have been an ABA Therapist ten years, and I cannot imagine not taking this career path. What first sparked my interest was when I was working as a teachers' assistant. There was a special needs student who had their therapist in class. The bond between the two of them was incredible, and the work seemed like a perfect blend of challenging, and rewarding. I soon went back to school to complete my Psychology degree and haven't looked back since."17. When have you had difficulty with a parent? How did you handle the situation? Having a parent that isn't on the same page as you, when it comes to therapy methods, can be detrimental to treating your patient. Talk about a time that you've sat down with the parents of a patient to teach them at-home techniques. Let the interviewer know that you were able to handle the situation by acknowledging that they were frustrated and that you could help with the communication gap by teaching them a few tools of their own. Here is an answer example: "Last week a team of medical professionals and I delivered a tough diagnosis to a first-time parent. We provided clear, concise and correct information and provided our support as well as local resources to support the family." Here is an entry level answer example: "If I were to have difficulty with a parent, I would sit them down and discuss why they were feeling the way they were. It can be difficult to react properly, all the time, when your kids are suffering from a disorder. I would empathize with them as much as possible and assure the parents that their children were in good hands." Here is an experienced answer example: "Through my career as an ABA Therapist, I have encountered difficult parents on a regular basis. It's a very tough situation for them to be in, and I empathize fully. In order to soothe the situation, I ask them to keep a transparent line of communication with me on how they are feeling about their child's treatment and progress. This diffuses most situations where a parent may let their feelings fester."18. When have you worked independently before? What challenges do you find when working independently? The interviewer would like to be assured that you are comfortable and knowledgeable enough to work on your own. Are you able to work without supervision, prioritize your to-do list, complete paperwork and go home knowing nothing was left undone? If you can answer yes to these questions then you know you can successfully work independently. Here is an answer example: "My work experience for the past 2 years has been in a clinical setting with multiple medical professionals treating the same patients. I haven't had the opportunity to work independently too often but I welcome the challenge." Here is an entry level answer example: "Since I am new to my career as an ABA Therapist, the best example that I can provide with independent work is during my post-secondary career. While attending university I had many independent projects with tight deadlines. The biggest challenge with working independently lies in self-motivation. I do believe that I have a strong amount of drive. With this drive, I am confident in my ability to be an effective therapist in both a one-on-one, or group setting." Here is an experienced answer example: "I have worked independently for the majority of my 12 year career in behavioral therapy. I have also taught new ABA Therapists on single therapy techniques. It's where I am most comfortable."19. What feeding therapy techniques have you used with your patients? As an ABA Therapist, you've likely seen patients with food related behavioral issues. Have you used a reward system to convince your pickiest of eaters to try new foods? Perhaps the kitchen staff at the school is on board with recognizing change, and providing praise as well. After attending therapy sessions with you, have your patients started to cut their own food, properly use utensils, wait quietly at restaurants, or wipe their own mouth without being asked? These are examples of success stories you can share with your interviewer. Here is an answer example: "Confusion and distaste towards textures and temperatures can be difficult for some of my patients to overcome. I've used Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy to help my patients overcome some of their behaviors related to food and nourishment." Here is an entry level answer example: "I have learned a little bit about feeding therapy techniques during my time in University. The techniques I learned included teaching a child with autism to use utensils, and providing them with strong posture support during meal time. More severe cases may required help with motor functions such as getting the food from their plate, to their mouth. Also, reinforcing with food itself may be a reward if there is a food the patient especially appreciates." Here is an experienced answer example: "When working with patients that suffer from a food related aversion, I make a point to educate the family on the importance of reinforcement and how to use my therapy methods successfully. This past month I've been working with a family and teaching the importance of ignoring the negative behaviors and reinforcing the small, positive wins."20. Tell me about your experience creating behavior intervention plans for autistic children. As an ABA Therapist, you know that following a behavior intervention plan can help eliminate or reduce difficult behaviors. You will be a part of a team of medical providers and education specialists who come up with a plan to reduce frustration and risk for all family members. You'll implement a plan to help them communicate their wants and needs in more appropriate ways. Talk to the interviewer about the extent of your experience. Here is an answer example: "Although I have not personally created a behavior intervention plan from scratch, I do fully understand the components that go into the creation of a successful plan. These include the individuals personal information, a description of their behaviors, suggested replacement behaviors, a plan for the elimination of triggers, teaching strategies, a list of positive and negative consequences, and a time frame for the plan." Here is an entry level answer example: "While completing my Behavioral Analyst education, I created a sample behavior intervention plan for my final project. I brought it with me for you to review, if you have time." Here is an experienced answer example: "For the past 3 years I have led the creation of intervention plans for children with autism, between the ages of 8-12. I do consider myself an expert in the subject. In preparation for the interview today, I have brought with me a sample plan. Would you like to review this document?"21. Do you have experience with one-on-one patient sessions? You may be asked this question if you are new to the career field, just finished up your post-secondary education or if your resume reflects that you mainly led group sessions. If you do not have a lot of experience working one-on-one with clients, that is okay. Let the interviewer know that you have had the training and you're ready to get started! If you do have experience working one-on-one with patients, discuss with the interviewer what type of settings they were in. Let the interviewer know that you can work within any patient setting. Here is an answer example: "As a new ABA Therapist, I've had four years experience working with clients on a one-on-one basis. One year as an assistant, and the last three years as a therapist in a school setting." Here is an entry level answer example: "As a new graduate, I've only worked one on one with patients during my clinical rotation. I look forward to building my caseload in this position." Here is an experienced answer example: "Yes, I have approximately five years' experience working in one-on-one sessions and am very comfortable in this single environment. From what I understand, the majority of what you do at (organization's name) is one on one. Is this correct?"22. What actions do you take to demonstrate care for your patients? This question is a great way to tell the interviewer a bit more about how you interact with your patients. Think of a recent time that you showed a client that you truly cared. Did you show compassion during a role play exercise? Did you praise a child for learning a new skill? No matter how big or small, discuss the ways that you demonstrate care for your patients. Here is an answer example: "For the last two weeks, I have been working on self-help tasks with a patient of mine. Yesterday she mastered brushing her teeth on her own. This accomplishment was a huge and I let her know that I was so proud of her by cheering, and celebrating the achievement." Here is an entry level answer example: "Here are some ways that you can show care for your patients:
- Respect their time and be punctual for their appointment
- Show empathy for their situation, at every opportunity
- Be patient with their progress
- Celebrate the small successes
- Listen to their needs and the needs of their full-time caregivers
- Show up to each session with a positive attitude
- Check in on their progress between sessions" Here is an experienced answer example: "I rely heavily on the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) when working with new autism patients. I've found that it is a simple way to start communication with my patients and a realistic way for parents to continue therapy at home. I always want to utilize therapy methods that can be supported easily in the home. My patients need support in ways that do not present unnecessary roadblocks."23. Explain to me what HIPAA is, and how that affects your job as an ABA Therapist. You should answer this question short and sweet. HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) is a U.S. based legislation related to data privacy and security of medical information.
Let the interviewer know that you follow HIPAA guidelines every day, with every one of your patients. You'll also highlight throughout your interview that you are aware of HIPAA guidelines by not using patient's personal information in your interview answers. Here is an answer example: "HIPAA is legislation that protects patients' personal health information. I always take all necessary precautions to protect patient information, as well as details surrounding their treatment." Here is an entry level answer example: "I recently took a module on HIPAA while obtaining my behavioral analyst certification. Patient confidentiality is of utmost importance, and HIPAA is the primary legislation that enforces these confidentiality requirements." Here is an experienced answer example: "In short, HIPAA safeguards the medical information of my patients. Utilizing HIPAA ensures the protection of my patients' information when transferred, received, or handled by other involved therapists."24. What is your greatest strength as an ABA Therapist? This question can be difficult to answer if you aren't comfortable and confident in bragging about yourself, just a little bit. The interview is the time and the place to show them what you're all about and why they want to hire you. Try making a list of your skills if you are having a hard time determining what strength you should highlight. Be sure to include your knowledge-based skills, transferable skills, and your traits. Here is an answer example: "My greatest strength would be my patience. I can keep my cool in any situation and am capable of finding a release from a stressful situation, after the fact. I can remain collected, and professional, at all times." Here is an entry level answer example: "Some great strengths to mention are:
- Flexible in Schedule/Availability
- Persistent and Determined
- Eager for Knowledge/New Skills
- Empathetic" Here is an experienced answer example: "My greatest strength is in my ability to sense the needs of others. I'm able to tailor my interaction based on the need of each child, coworker or fellow professional. I have taught many new therapists on non-verbal and verbal cues of patients, and am currently writing a paper on these methods."25. What is your greatest weakness as an ABA Therapist? Strength and weakness questions are the most challenging interview questions for anyone, so do not fret! Choose a weakness that can be improved upon but is not vital to your success as an ABA Therapist. Let the interviewer know you've identified this weakness and that you are working on improving this shortcoming. Here is an answer example: "My greatest weakness is that I am an introverted person by nature. The result is that I have a difficult time speaking up in large groups. I'm most comfortable working one on one, or in smaller groups, with my patients." Here is an entry level answer example: "At this point in my career, I would say that my greatest weakness lies in my lack of experience. I have completed my practicum hours and know that I am ready; however, it will take good career tenure to truly show that I have what it takes to make an impact as an ABA Therapist." Here is an experienced answer example: "Each year that I am an ABA Therapist, I see new areas where I can improve. To make this happen, I commit to taking additional courses and workshops related to this career path. The continued development coursework that I have taken include new methods of screening and assessment, further development of autism spectrum disorders, and abnormal psychology."26. Tell me about a time that a patient's behavior confused you, or didn't make sense. What did you do? There will always be that one case that makes you scratch your head, and it will challenge what you thought you knew as an ABA Therapist. Let the interviewer know you are up for the challenge! Discuss a specific situation without breaking any confidentiality barriers. Here is an answer example: "I recall one specific situation where my patient continued covering her ears and screaming as though she were in pain. This didn't happen all of the time which made me believe that the behavior was related to sound sensitivity, but not entirely responsible for it. I used a variety of tools to break down what was happening and found that she was, in fact, very sensitive to particular pitches and not others. There have been times that I've left a session scratching my head, and that was one of them. I regularly consult with my fellow coworkers on situations where I need a second opinion. Sessions that leave me thinking are the best ones because they push me to dig deeper for answers." Here is an entry level answer example: "While completing my practicum hours, I came across a lot of patient behavior that I was not familiar with through my classroom education, alone. These situations were often surrounding eating and behaviors around food. I observed the ABA Therapists' methods and made notes after each session so that I could prepare if I were to come across similar behavior in my career." Here is an experienced answer example: "One of the great things about being an ABA Therapist is the various ways we can work with a patient. One circumstance that stands out to me is when I had a patient with major mood instability issues. It was the most severe case I had ever seen, and it taught me that there is no 'one size fits all' when it comes to treating patients. Sometimes it might take a little longer than expected to determine why a patient acts the way they do."27. When you notice a child with aggressive behavior toward others, what type of intervention do you perform? Let the interviewer know how you would evaluate the concern, make a plan to overcome the behavior, and track your patient's success. Assure the interviewer that you would work with parents, medical providers and school staff to adequately monitor and help assist a behaviorally aggressive child.
Here is an answer example: "I noticed a child at school being unusually aggressive in the classroom and knew that I needed to find out what was going on. I contacted the parents for permission to invite the child to a working group that I had for kids of his age. He's been there for six weeks now and has responded to our group therapy and is improving every day." Here is an entry level answer example: "I do not yet have the level of experience for me to perform an intervention on my own personally; however, I have observed some amazing techniques during my schooling and training which includes group therapy, play therapy, and music therapy." Here is an experienced answer example: "My preferred intervention method is Relationship Development Intervention because parents and teachers can be trained to perform it with children in the home or school setting. I think it is important to get everyone that interacts with the child and is involved in their care, to help improve their aggressive behavior."28. What type of certification do you have? Are there any additional certifications you are looking to obtain in the future? The interviewer would like to fully understand what certifications you currently hold, and where you would want to go with your continued education. Discuss your current training and show that you are always motivated to expand your credentials. Here is an answer example: "I have been a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) for the past five years. I love the idea of continued education and have been considering completing my Bachelor's Degree in Psychology so that I can be a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA)." Here is an entry level answer example: "I just earned my Autism Certificate last month. I'm looking forward to securing employment and working towards my Certified Autism Specialist certificate." Here is an experienced answer example: "Upon completion of my Bachelors Degree in Psychology, I passed my exams to become an assistant ABA therapist. I would like to eventually earn my master's degree in behavior analysis, and become a certified ABA Therapist."29. What experience do you have working with children on the autism spectrum? You want to talk about your contribution as a member of an autism treatment team, as a case manager or time spent leading groups of children and parents. If you are right out of school and haven't had a lot of experience working with children with autism, talk about your internship or any volunteer work. Here is an answer example: "I've worked with children on the autism spectrum now for two years. I've worked in one on one settings, in a group setting, as well as with private caregivers and family members of autistic children. Overall, my experience spans the last six years." Here is an entry level answer example: "I haven't had the opportunity to work with children on the autism spectrum as I've been working primarily with physically disabled adults for the last three years. I look forward to the opportunity to work with a new group of individuals and to learn from them." Here is an experienced answer example: "I have worked specifically with autism and other related brain disorders for the past eight years. Six of those years have been geared strictly to child-related therapy. I consider myself an expert in the field and have every confidence that I will deliver the experience that you need, for a role such as this one."30. Do you have any volunteer experience related to working with children? Telling the interviewer that you support your community through volunteering will help you get to the top of their list. Not only do you gain more experience and insights but you are giving back and helping others. By choosing volunteer work within the social services career field, you have the potential to build future professional relationships and create connections with people. Here is an answer example: "I've had the opportunity to volunteer with Big Brother and Big Sisters for the last six months. I've not only learned more about myself but how to help my future patients." Here is an entry level answer example: "Each year I volunteer at our local shelter to pass out meals to adults and children during the holidays. Being part of the community is very important to me." Here is an experienced answer example: "For many years now I have made an effort to donate therapy hours to a local cause or family in need. So far, I have conducted over 5000 hours of pro bono work to children in need of behavioral therapy."
Writers for ABA Therapist Answers and Questions
Heather Douglass has over 20 years of experience recruiting and hiring candidates. She has a knack for resume writing. You can find her on twitter at @heatherinidaho.
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace.
Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career.
Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise.
Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
First written on: 12/28/2016 Last modified on: 08/20/2018
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